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by Anita K Irons

July 19, 2000

"A Masters swimmer, like fine wine, gets better with age!"

Anita K. Irons recalls: 
Swimming has been a part of my life almost as long as walking. I grew up in Florida with a pool in the backyard. I swam both for fun and for competition. I water-skied and was even a certified scuba diver by the time I graduated from college. I started out as an AAU swimmer. I was lucky that my dad was one of those swimming parents who was willing to get up before the sun did, even on the coldest mornings, to make sure that I made practice. Dad gave up a lot of weekends for my swimming. He drove me to meets all over the state, counted almost every mile I swam and charted all my times on a graph, which I have saved in a drawer somewhere. Unfortunately, in college my interest in swimming declined somewhat, and I hung up my suit for what I thought was the last time before the end of my senior year.

Little did I realize that 10 years later I would find a satisfaction and renewed interest in swimming, thanks to Masters. Within a few months of moving to Raleigh, N.C., I began swimming with the Raleigh Area Masters (RAM) swim team, and I'm still at it four years later. I have nearly matched and even bettered many of my times from college and AAU, not too bad for an "old lady" of 33. My husband, Rob, started swimming Masters about a year later. Even though he never swam before, he has managed to beat my backstroke times, though I have challenged him to catch me in the mile. We have a great time working out together, and we motivate each other to get out of bed on cold winter mornings, at least for most of them! Swimming will be a lifetime commitment for me. I believe that a Masters swimmer, like a fine wine, does get better with age!

Anita K. Irons lived in Garner, N.C., and swam for North Carolina Masters Swimming - 1997.


Anita K. Irons was named All-American in 1993 in the Women 25-29 age group due to her number one placing in the W 25-29 1500 short course meters freestyle on the USMS SCM Top Ten list.

In 2006, she represents Illinois Masters